The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell
"Here is how monstrous humans are."
A sentient, murderous prosthetic leg; shadowy creatures lurking behind a shimmering wall; brutal barrow men--of all the terrors that populate The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell, perhaps the most alarming are the beings who decimated the habitable Earth: humans. In this new short story collection, Brian Evenson envisions a chilling future beyond the Anthropocene that forces excruciating decisions about survival and self-sacrifice in the face of toxic air and a natural world torn between revenge and regeneration. Combining psychological and ecological horror, each tale thrums with Evenson's award-winning literary craftsmanship, dark humor, and thrilling suspense.
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About the Author
Praise for Song for the Unraveling of the World:
New York Times, "Best Horror Fiction"
Washington Post, "Best Horror Fiction of the Year"
NPR, "Best Books of 2019"
Entropy, "Best of 2019"
Finalist, 2019 Los Angeles Times Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction
Finalist, 2019 Big Other Book Award for Fiction
"Missing persons, paranoia and psychosis . . . the kind of writer who leads you into the labyrinth, then abandons you there. It's hard to believe a guy can be so frightening, so consistently." --New York Times
"Enigmatic, superbly rendered slices of fear, uncertainty and paranoia." --Washington Post
"Evenson at his most intense and discomfiting ... he makes our skin rise and crawl with the intimation that all, although outwardly normal, is certainly not. Why else are we paying attention so closely?" --Los Angeles Review of Books
"These stories are carefully calibrated exercises in ambiguity in which Evenson leaves it unclear how much of the off-kilterness exists outside of the deep-seated pathologies that motivate his characters." --Publishers Weekly, starred review
Praise for Brian Evenson:
"Evenson is one of our best living writers--regardless of genre." --NPR
"Evenson's fiction is equal parts obsessive, experimental, and violent. It can be soul-shaking." --The New Yorker
"You've heard of 'postmodern' stories--well, Evenson's stories are post-everything. They are post-human, post-reason, post-apocalyptic. . . . In an Evenson story, there are two horrible things that can happen to you. You can either fail to survive, or survive." --New York Times
"Subtly unnerving dark fantasy." --Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Evenson's little nightmares are deftly crafted, stylistically daring, and surprisingly emotional." --Kirkus
"A master of literary horror." --GQ
"Evenson lures readers into each twisted tale by starting not at the beginning, but somewhere else, creating a sense of disorientation and unease. As each tale unspools and each surreal world clarifies into a malformed sort of logic, the creeps set firmly in." --Library Journal
"America's greatest horror writer evokes the schism between perceptions and realities, and, to unsettling effect, collapses the unseen bond that so delicately bridges them." --San Francisco Chronicle
"Brian Evenson is one of the most consistently vital and unnerving voices in writing today. . . . No matter where you start with Evenson's work, the door is wide ajar, and once you go through it you won't be coming out." --VICE
"Evenson's uncanny but accessible fiction can remind you of Edgar Allan Poe or The Twilight Zone." --Star Tribune
"Taut, troubling short stories in which the danger seems to always lurk just out of view or beyond definition." --NPR
"Deal[s] with art, paranoia and the dark urges that haunt even the most normal people." --Los Angeles Times
"Evenson is our most impressive explorer of the cracks in things that let in not the light, as Leonard Cohen would have it, but fever, chaos, and darkness." --Vulture
"I'm not convinced Brian Evenson is entirely human. His literary horror fiction is just too good, too immersive, and too alien for a mere mortal." --The A. V. Club
"Evenson recalls Poe, as he finds the most frightening way to open another box of horrors." --Brooklyn Rail
"Evenson understands both the precision of language and the gut-level appeal of the grindhouse, and the best of his work skates along the border between the two, combining aspects of both. . . . [A] perfect introduction to Evenson's work for those who are looking to experience it for the first time." --Tor
"You never realize how deep his fiction has wormed its way into your brain until hours, days, even weeks later, when you're lying in the dark and Evenson's images come flooding back, unbidden. A Collapse of Horses will stay with you for a long time . . . whether you want it to or not." --Chicago Review of Books
"Violence is punishing but unbelievably subtle in Evenson's delicate, minimalist stories. And ultimately, there is something cosmic--something utterly Lovecraftian, but without the baroque language--about this type of horror: beneath the slippery, often abstruse plots lies a vast gulf of nothingness, in the purest and most unsettling sense of the word." --NPR
"Evenson renders the world as a place of infinite and paralyzing delusion. . . . In an Evenson story, a house isn't inescapable because of its lack of doors and windows; it's inescapable because it was built by an impressionable mind." --Los Angeles Review of Books
"Evenson's stories, small masterworks of literary horror, are elegantly tense. They operate in psychological territory, never relying on grossness or slasher silliness to convey their scariness." --Kirkus Reviews
"Brian Evenson is one of my favorite living horror writers." --Carmen Maria Machado
"To read Evenson is to be privy to a precise, vivid, brilliant unpicking of the everyday--and its others." --China Miéville
"Brian Evenson's bold and unique short fictions--equal parts surrealism, ontology, and dread--consistently lead the reader to truly shocking discoveries that are as disturbing as they are oddly beautiful." --Paul Tremblay
"There is not a more intense, prolific, or apocalyptic writer of fiction in America than Brian Evenson." --George Saunders